What is a macbook pro meant/supposed to be used for?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jameson.Kusch, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Jameson.Kusch macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    Hey everyone,

    I'm reading a lot of threads and topics about people who buy macbook pros and use them for web surfing, itunes, and microsoft word documents, excel, etc...

    I am guilty of using my macbook pro 13' early 2011 for these such things primarily. I hardly do anything intensive and probably don't use more than 5 percent of the cpu. I always read posts about "professionals" that need a macbook pro and its specs for what they do. What are some of the things "real pros" use a macbook pro for?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The term pro in the product name is marketing pure and simple.

    I know too many college students that use a MacBook Pro even though they're not pros, and various other people.

    My take, its a computer that meant to be used for what ever purpose you need it for. It doesn't matter if you're not a professional designer, or engineer. If you just want to surf the web with it, then its doing what its intended to do. Meet your needs.
  3. doubleaa macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    Whatever you want to use it for. There is no intended use.
  4. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    I'm strictly semi-pro (in that my creative pursuits only account for a portion of my income), but I use mine to make music. In a studio.

    As a rule, the MBP is powerful enough to handle recording at high resolutions, as well as running several virtual instruments at once. (These can be fairly demanding of resources.) I also require a sufficient number of ports to allow for connecting to an external display, hard drives, and audio hardware.

    And since I can't justify the expense of a designated desktop for my studio, the portability of the MBP means I can take it with me and get work done at home... or, well, most anywhere with an AC outlet.

    I largely agree with the poster above--the "Pro" designation is about 95% marketing. But that said, I wouldn't rely on a MacBook Air to do the majority of the audio work that I do on a daily basis.
  5. js09 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2010
    I got mine to do professional photography work.

    Most people probably only need a macbook air TBH, but ignorance is bliss.
  6. cybergibbons macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    They are powerful machines with high res screens and long battery life.

    Mine will get used for development, reverse engineering of embedded systems using lots of tools that love high resolutions, and messing around on reddit.
  7. *~Kim~* macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2013
    I just don't like the look of the Air. Add to that no Retina display and no way.
  8. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Bingo. Love the design/look of the rMBP, + the Retina display. But it's all marketing. However the Pro models are generally faster and have more ports.

    But you certainly don't need to be a video editor or something like that to use a Pro. You don't even need to push the CPU. Lots of people now are buying the MacBook Pro for its Retina display, people who would otherwise get the Air.

    However if someone is buying a top-end MBP just to do it, then that is wasting money.
  9. Domdog31 macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2011
  10. MN7119 macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2011
    "Most people probably only need a macbook air TBH, but ignorance is bliss" People buy whatever they want. If I can afford a top MacBook Pro 15" and I want that machine even if I plan to surf the net it is not about being ignorant. It is about buying what you want. You can get from point A to point B by riding a bicycle. Some people prefer to do the same itinerary by driving a BMW. Ignorance? I don't think so. It is about preference, taste and what your pocket can afford.

  11. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Plenty of "media consumers" are moving to tablets from computers, as the tablets do what they want at less cost and more convenience. These people don't need a computer, "Pro" labeled or otherwise.

    Computers like the MacBook Pro are needed by "media producers" -- audio, video, photography, and to a lesser extent (because less resources needed) the written word. Powerful computers are also needed by engineers and scientists, although these are typically not Macs. A professional earns their living doing this, and needs as much performance as they can afford since "time is money." Of course anyone can still buy a top-end MBP and just run Safari if they wish.

    I teach Electrical Engineering courses part time (and am employed as an Electrical Engineer full time) and use my MBP for Computer Aided Design and simulation (running in a Windows virtual machine). I also record demonstrations and lectures (iShowU HD for screen capture and FinalCut Pro X for post production). I'm also an advanced amateur photographer and use Aperture, Photoshop, and several other processor intensive image manipulation programs.

    I've got a duplicate setup at home on my iMac, which I use when I'm at my desk. That's where I do writing and illustrating as well. When I retire from teaching in a couple of years I'll probably replace the MBP with an Air as I won't need the powerful mobile system.
  12. Prof. macrumors 601


    Aug 17, 2007
    I bought the 15" MacBook Pro so I can have the ability to upgrade the RAM and HDD/SSD when the time comes. I don't need a 15" MBP, but I bought one anyway. I agree with you in that most people can survive 5+ years with a nicely-spec'd MBA. If I could do it all over again, I would have gotten a MBA with a 256 SSD and 8GB of RAM. When I buy a new Mac in 5-ish years I'll definitely be getting a MacBook Air (or whatever equivalent computer Apple offers). Unless of course my needs change. Statistical software for my degree is quite processor intensive.
  13. T-Bob macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2013
    For sitting in starbucks making sure the logo can be seen by as many others as possible. :D
  14. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    I'm really surprised with people's responses here. I agree that "Pro" is mostly a marketing differentiation, but I'd say the OP is asking what a MBP is specifically designed for - the core audience.

    Granted - Apple loves all the MBP "Facebookers" - I'm not saying that Apple should make a product that can't/won't attract other demographics, however..

    If I get a new Mac Pro and only need it to surf the web, then yes, it "meets my needs", but please, don't tell me it was meant to surf the web, or it wasn't designed with any intent in mind.

    To an acknowledged lesser extent, the same goes with the MBP.

    I suppose car analogies are the dead horse around here, but humor me: if I drive around a massive F-550 and never once use the bed or even 10% of the truck's towing/payload capacity, I'd be a fool to think that Ford designed the truck for how I use it.

    I will acknowledge that the MBP's intended users and applications definitely vary, and that asthetics (form factor, Retina display, etc.) also play a role in what drives a customer to the MBP.

    The most concrete case I can make for the MBP's specific purpose is based on the internals. Loosely speaking, in the world of Apple notebooks, if your applications and/or workflow brings a full spec MBA to its knees, there's a good chance the MBP was specifically designed with you or your applications in mind.

    Again, the giant disclaimer: there are a myriad of reasons people can and should get a MBP, even if they don't use even 5% of it's hardware capability! But to say that the MBP was designed with no intent is nigh offensive.

    Bias alert, I'm an engineer.
  15. nathairtras macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2013
    I hope you aren't talking about the Haswell model that just came out. The RAM is soldered (unless the 15" is different? Didn't think so) and the SSD is proprietary and unlikely to have third party replacements any time soon.
  16. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2010
  17. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    Ding Ding, winning answer.
  18. Prof. macrumors 601


    Aug 17, 2007
    I was referring to the old school MacBook Pros - the non-retina ones. :)
  19. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    Powerful, yet superior battery life compared to all machines.
  20. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
  21. covertash macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2012
    At least with regards to the current Haswell generation of rMBP's, it seems to be designed for people who:

    Need the extra processing power (CPU and/or GPU)
    Need the higher storage ceiling (aka. 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM)
    Need the extra Thunderbolt port for peripherals/accessories
    Need the extra screen space courtesy of the Retina display

    The other benefits (ie. great battery life for non-MBA, better speakers, etc.) are all just icing on the cake. :cool:
  22. daudi81 macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2013
    Freakin' overkill for most people. I tried my friend's macbook air (2 generations old) and it was fast enough for 99% of what people do. Our lead designer at work has last generation's macbook air, hooked up to dual 24" monitors. And he never complains about speed. I'm the type that has to have the best of everything, so that's why I bought mine. I couldn't settle for a macbook air. Part of me is remorsing that I should have bought the mac pro - but it's not portable like the macbook pro is =)
  23. js09 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2010
    You just proved my point.

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